The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Can we change?


In the history of human existence there has been a battle between good and evil. Humans are caught between the desire to do good and the temptation to do those things that violate our dignity or the dignity of others. 

St. Paul described the struggle this way:

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.
I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different” (Romans 7:21-25).

I recently learned an interesting way to describe this tug-a-war within us from Gerald May. He described the answer to the war within as transformation of desire. Notice how St. Paul portrays the desire: “I want to serve God with all my heart and mind.” Yes, there is a pull to serve self instead of God, yet, we are encouraged to experience a transformation of desire.

Ronald Friesen © 2015

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